Steuber's 2008 NFL Mock Draft

Glenn Dorsey (Chris Graythen/Getty)

The All-Star games for senior prospects have concluded, so the next step for the 2008 draft class is the NFL Scouting Combine. But before everyone's attention is focused on Indianapolis, Scout.com's NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber updated his first round projections. And it appears Glenn Dorsey may find himself in a surprising location.

With all the All-Star games behind us, some players improved their stock and others weakened their status. Things are likely to fluctuate again later this month as the 2008 draft class prepares to showcase their skills at the Scouting Combine. In my latest attempt to predict the future, you will notice some changes. But overall, the first round has stayed consistent.

If you have any questions about my mock draft, email me by clicking on this link.


Pick

Team

Pos.

Player

College

Class

Ht.

Wt.

1

(1 - 15)

DE

Chris Long

Virginia

Sr.

6-3

278

The Dolphins will most likely try to trade this pick in hopes of adding a few more selections to help their team. If they're unable to trade the pick, Bill Parcells will decide between three players: DE Chris Long, DT Glenn Dorsey and RB Darren McFadden. They're all intriguing, but Long fits Parcells' style best.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

2

(3 - 13)

OT

Jake Long

Michigan

Sr.

6-7

335

The Rams have to upgrade their offensive line, which was horrendous last season. But when you have a player of Glenn Dorsey's ability, you have to consider selecting him. In the end, the woeful offensive line remains the team’s No. 1 priority, and Jake Long is the pick.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Glenn Dorsey

3

(4 - 12)

DT

Glenn Dorsey

LSU

Sr.

6-2

313

The Falcons are going in a new direction and with new head coach Mike Smith, the former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator. They will look to add a QB of the future, but with Smith's strong background on defense and Atlanta looking for high character guys, LSU's Glenn Dorsey is a perfect fit.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Brian Brohm

4

(4 - 12)

RB

Darren McFadden

Arkansas

Jr.

6-2

210

The Raiders have a huge decision to make at this selection. They can draft USC DT Sedrick Ellis to replace Warren Sapp, or add the best offensive weapon in the draft in Arkansas RB Darren McFadden. McFadden provides QB Jamarcus Russell with a playmaker, so he's an easy choice.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

5

(4 - 12)

QB

Brian Brohm

Louisville

Sr.

6-3

227

The Chiefs are in a tough spot. They were hoping for Jake Long to fall to them at this spot, but he's off the board and they're forced to go in a different direction. They may look at Sedrick Ellis with this pick and upgrade the D-Line, but with Brodie Croyle still a mystery, the Chiefs make a bold move and select Louisville's Brian Brohm.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Jake Long

6

(4 - 12)

DT

Sedrick Ellis

USC

Sr.

6-1

307

The Jets have some needs on offense and defense, and their most pressing need is to apply pressure on the QB. Generating a push up the middle is vital, and although Sedrick Ellis is undersized, he plays with a high motor that will produce sacks.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Vernon Gholston

7


from 49ers
(5 - 11)

DE

Vernon Gholston

Ohio State

Jr.

6-3

260

The Patriots suffered a heart-wrenching defeat in the Super Bowl and now turn to the offseason to reload. The need for help in the secondary is obvious, but upgrading their linebacking corps is a must. Ohio State's versatile defender Vernon Gholston can play OLB in a 3-4, and his aggressiveness fits Bill Belichick's defense well.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Aqib Talib

8

(5 - 11)

QB

Matt Ryan

Boston College

Sr.

6-5

224

The Ravens have had a disappointing season, and a lot of their problems stem from the instability of the quarterback situation. Steve McNair is past his prime and Kyle Boller hasn't worked out since being selected as a first-round pick in 2003. The Ravens drafted Troy Smith last year, and he played well towards the end of the season. But adding a QB with leadership qualities is a must, and BC's Matt Ryan is a welcome addition.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

9

(7 - 9)

LB

Keith Rivers

USC

Sr.

6-3

237

The Bengals desperately need help on defense. The secondary is young and promising, but the front seven needs some work. Cincinnati has endured some misfortune with the linebacker position over the years, but adding a steady leader in Keith Rivers should help the defense immediately.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Sedrick Ellis

10

(7 - 9)

CB

Aqib Talib

Kansas

Jr.

6-1

195

The Saints need help in the secondary. They need a playmaker who can turn defense into offense. Kansas' Aqib Talib has the size, athleticism and instincts to be a premier corner in the league.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Mike Jenkins

11

(7 - 9)

WR

Malcolm Kelly

Oklahoma

Jr.

6-4

215

Outside of Lee Evans, the Bills don't have a big-play threat at the receiver position. Buffalo finished the season with the third-worst passing offense in the league. The Bills have a young starting quarterback in Trent Edwards, so supplying him with a player of Malcolm Kelly's abilities will help the Buffalo offense.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

12

(7 - 9)

OT

Ryan Clady

Boise State

Jr.

6-6

320

Any time a team is grooming a young quarterback, it's important to give him the best possible protection to be successful. The Broncos have done a good job with Jay Cutler, but giving him a quality tackle to grow with makes sense. Ryan Clady, a junior from the Boise State Broncos, is a solid pick.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

13

(7 - 9)

DE

Derrick Harvey

Florida

Jr.

6-4

260

The Panthers have a few areas that they'd like to address in the draft: quarterback, defensive line and offensive line. The most pressing need is on the defensive line, and adding Derrick Harvey should help Julius Peppers rebound from a disappointing season.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Andre Woodson

14

(7 - 9)

FS

Kenny Phillips

Miami

Jr.

6-2

210

The Bears may look to upgrade their offensive line at this selection, but they should wait until the second or third round. Due to concerns about Cedric Benson, drafting a RB is a possibility. But with Miami's versatile defensive back Kenny Phillips available, he's the best player who can help the Bears immediately.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

15

(7 - 9)

CB

Leodis McKelvin

Troy

Sr.

5-10

186

The Lions are another team that has struggled in the secondary this season. They finished 31st in the league in passing yards allowed (258 YPG) and need a playmaker who can challenge the opposition. Troy's Leodis McKelvin is rising up draft charts and gives the Lions a versatile weapon on defense and special teams.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

16

(8 - 8)

CB

Mike Jenkins

South Florida

Sr.

5-11

200

The Cardinals have been mentioned as a team that's on the way up for the last few years, but they continue to struggle. One way for them to get on the right track is to continue upgrading their defense. Adding a quality cover corner in Mike Jenkins gives the secondary depth and a possible starter right away.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Keith Rivers

17

(8 - 8)

DE

Calais Campbell

Miami

Jr.

6-7

280

Adding a receiver makes sense for the Vikings, but improving their pass rush is a priority. Miami DE Calais Campbell is an imposing force who should make an immediate impact.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

18

(8 - 8)

RB

Rashard Mendenhall

Illinois

Jr.

5-11

215

The Texans were one of twelve teams that finished the season averaging less than 100 yards a game, and for Houston to compete in their division, they have to have an effective rushing attack. Illinois star Rashard Mendenhall has the elusiveness and strength the Texans' offense needs.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

19

(8 - 8)

DE

Lawrence Jackson

USC

Sr.

6-5

270

The Eagles will look to upgrade their secondary or defensive line with this pick. The Eagles are in a tough situation at this selection with the top corners and defensive ends off the board. But an instant playmaker is available in Cal's DeSean Jackson. After much consideration, Philly goes with USC's steady DE Lawrence Jackson.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Derrick Harvey

20

(9 - 7)

WR

DeSean Jackson

California

Jr.

6-0

172

The Buccaneers may look to add an offensive tackle with this pick, but with Cal's DeSean Jackson on the board, he's too good to pass up. Joey Galloway is in his mid-thirties, and adding Jackson as his successor gives the Bucs a weapon on offense and special teams.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

21

(9 - 7)

WR

James Hardy

Indiana

Jr.

6-6

220

The Redskins have to improve their pass rush. Getting pressure on the QB is a must, but the top DEs are off the board and that will have to wait until the second round. So Washington will look to improve their offense and add a playmaking wide receiver. Indiana's James Hardy gives the Redskins a big WR who will compliment Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Kentwan Balmer

22


from Browns (10 - 6

WR

Mario Manningham

Michigan

Jr.

6-0

187

Even though the Cowboys are picking up Terrell Owens' roster bonus next season, that doesn't mean they shouldn't think about the future. T.O. and Terry Glenn are in their thirties, so adding a young playmaker like Mario Manningham will give Dallas a young receiver to build around.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

23

(10 - 6)

OT

Jeff Otah

Pittsburgh

Sr.

6-6

341

The Steelers are solid all around, but giving Ben Roethlisberger more protection up front is key to their success. Adding a player they're familiar with in Jeff Otah, who played at Pitt, gives the Steelers much needed depth and versatility.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

24

(10 - 6)

WR

Limas Sweed

Texas

Sr.

6-5

220

The Titans have to give Vince Young a reliable receiver that he can grow with. Drafting Texas' Limas Sweed, a former teammate of Young's, provides familiarity and the big, reliable target the Titans offense needs.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

25

(10 - 6)

RB

Jonathan Stewart

Oregon

Jr.

5-11

230

The Seahawks drafted Shaun Alexander in 2000 as Ricky Watters' eventual replacement. With Alexander now 30 years old and a bit slower, it may be time to think about his successor. Oregon's Jonathan Stewart is the perfect protégé for Alexander.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Same

26

(11 - 5)

DE

Phillip Merling

Clemson

Jr.

6-5

270

The Jaguars could look to add a wide receiver at this selection, especially with LSU's Early Doucet available. But adding a solid DE who can defend the run and rush the pass will add a lot to the Jags D-Line. Enter Clemson's Phillip Merling.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: James Hardy

27

(11 - 5)

DT

Kentwan Balmer

North Carolina

Sr.

6-4

295

The Chargers are in a situation to draft the best available player, and they can go in many directions. Do they add a running back to replace the departing Michael Turner? How about an offensive tackle to help protect Phillip Rivers? In the end, they add a versatile defensive lineman who can play inside and outside, UNC's Kentwan Balmer.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Dan Connor

28

(13 - 3)

CB

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Tennessee State

Sr.

6-1

183

The Cowboys got a receiver with their first pick that they can mold for the future, and now they will upgrade their defense. The secondary is a concern, and adding depth and a playmaker is ideal. Rodgers-Cromartie is rising fast up draft boards and may end up being a steal for the Cowboys.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Sam Baker

29


from Colts
(13 - 3)

OT

Chris Williams

Vanderbilt

Sr.

6-6

317

The Niners want to add a playmaker on offense, but with all the top WRs off the board, they will look to give Alex Smith more protection upfront. For the second year in a row the Niners use their first-round pick on an OT — Vanderbilt's Chris Williams.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Early Doucet

30

(13 - 3)

CB

Reggie Smith

Oklahoma

Jr.

6-1

197

The Packers are in a position to draft the best available player as well, although they have some depth and age issues at certain positions. The secondary isn't getting any younger, and adding youth that can learn from Charles Woodson and Al Harris will benefit the Packers in the future. Please welcome Oklahoma's Reggie Smith.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Chris Williams

31

PATRIOTS SELECTION FORFEITED - (16 - 0)

 

32

(10 - 6)

OLB

Dan Connor

Penn State

Sr.

6-3

230

The Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants, played very well on defense this year — but they have some concerns at linebacker. Penn State's Dan Connor is an excellent choice at this pick and gives the Giants a future star on the weak side.

Previous Mock Draft Selection: Ali Highsmith



A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999.


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